Did you know the National Fire Prevention Week starts from 4th to 10th October? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced that the theme this year is “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.” The Fire Safety Week was first initiated in 1925 and is observed in the U.S as well as Canada. Even with a steady decline in home fires since the 80s, it is still a leading cause of death for children from one to 14 years.
Over the last few decades, it is estimated that deaths from home fires have increased from 5,200 in 1980 to 2,710 in 2017. Moreover, the same reports indicate that about 127 children aged between 1 and 14 lost their lives in home fires in 2017 alone.
The NFPA has different plans this year; due to the pandemic, the public won’t be invited to the facility during Fire Safety Week. Instead, they plan on hosting a virtual tour on Facebook to a couple of their stations.
Fire Safety and Prevention
You might not know this, but fires from cooking accidents are the third leading cause of fire deaths in America, one of the reasons this year’s NFPA Fire Safety Week theme is focusing on the kitchen. The state loses more than 4,000 Americans due to fires and about $8.6 billion.
How can I prepare my kitchen for a fire?
- It is essential to make sure that you have smoke alarms on every floor of your house, and more specifically, your kitchen.
- Test your smoke alarms for functionality weekly, make sure they have fresh batteries; if you are unsure, get a professional, such as one from ServiceMaster Recovery Services to help.
- Look out for obvious fire dangers such as overloaded sockets, unattended appliances, and candles.
- Consider installing home fire sprinklers; they are easy to install and have a quick response time. What’s best, they could help reduce the insurance policy on your home.
- Ensure you have an exit route in case of a fire. Make sure the access routes are clear, and the keys are accessible in case of an emergency. When planning for a fire escape route, have an alternative for each room.
- Make a habit of sleeping with your doors closed; during a fire, sealed entries prevent the fire from spreading quickly.
How do I prevent my home from fires?
- Avoid running electrical wires under rugs, in case of a short circuit or overheating; the mats could quickly catch fire
- If you have faulty appliances in your kitchen or living spaces, get them fixed or replaced, they could potentially cause a fire if they malfunction.
- Keep your night lights and lamps away from bedsheets, drapes of fabric.
- Don’t leave candles unattended for extended periods; they are a fire hazard.
- During the festive season, of you have a living tree, keep it watered to prevent it from drying with Christmas lights hung around it.
- In case you have any outdoor fire pits, ensure the sparks are completely out after extinguishing the fire.
A lot of homeowners tend to underestimate the risk of fire, particularly at home. This kind of overconfidence leads to complacency towards the planning and prevention of fires. However, based on facts from home fires, advanced planning and prevention make a life-saving difference.
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